We returned home to Slovakia on January 30th after spending 6 days at the Global Business Development Conference (aptly named for those working in restricted countries). There were services, workshops and some practical business meetings. It was the first time in the history of the P.A.O.C. that every worker came together. Attendance was mandatory, but we are so glad that we were a part of this event.
As cross-cultural workers we know that we are part of a larger, global team that is involved in many initiatives around the world. Knowing this is completely different than actually being able to see everyone all together. It was exciting to see the scale of what we are a part of. Being able to switch off the translation portion of our brains and engage in teaching and worship in English was energizing. We were also able to connect with great friends who are life-giving and meet new people and listen to their stories. We're not trying to make ourselves out to be so different, but there is such great connectivity amongst people who have walked a similar life-journey (it's hard to discuss culture shock with someone who has only moved Pickering to Ajax or Maple Ridge to Langley).
The conference took place in Indonesia (a brief 48 hours in transit round-trip). When people are coming from all over the entire world, there are going to be travel winners and losers. It was interesting to be exposed to another culture and it was Amber's first time in Asia. It was a good reminder to us of how diverse our global team is. What we do in Slovakia would not work there. How one lives out there faith would look so different there - how one lives in general would be so different. Amber's gratitude for living in a cockroach-free country was repeated several times by the end of the week! There was also a lot of crispy flesh on display as Canadians are not accustomed to sub-equatorial sun...
It was super-fantastic to be a part of this!